|The "Classic" SharePoint Panel|
How many of you actually used SharePoint back in 2001, when it was first released on the market? At that time, the services that had the "SharePoint" title on them were little more than a loosely connected string of services from companies Microsoft had just purchased. Microsoft integrated these new features with their existing "site server" and SQL services, but the entire thing was a pit of mess that left most users feeling like they'd been given a pop quiz on their first day of class.
Of course, SharePoint didn't stand still. By 2004, everything was integrated far more smoothly and users were able to access features without accidentally crossing wires at each turn. Customization also started with the (difficult to use and implement) web parts available at that time. From 2004 to 2007, features were added that allowed for smoother use, faster additions, easier implementation, and more fluid dashboards.
If SharePoint had stopped development in 2007, they would probably still be alive today. They didn't, however, which is why SharePoint is the industry behemoth even in 2011. SharePoint 2010 offered many great stability, business intelligence, customization, administration, and user-driven functions that it revolutionized the industry.
Looking back to the beginning, it's almost impossible to recognize those first iterations as being "SharePoint" at all. You've come a long way, Microsoft, and we look forward to your innovations in the coming months and years.